University at Albany Foundation honors two

The University of Albany Foundation named its 2013 Citizen Laureates Monday. Union College professor

The University of Albany Foundation named its 2013 Citizen Laureates Monday. Union College professor Stephen Berk and Albany Medical Center President and CEO James Barba are the latest to be honored by the foundation.

Berk, a resident of Niskayuna, was honored as the foundation’s 2013 Academic Laureate. The criteria for Academic Laureate Award include having a “distinguished record of intellectual achievement in both scholarship and teaching” and “have provided outstanding service to their institutions, to the communicate, and/or to education in general.” The former chairman of the Department of History at Union College qualified not only for his work at Union College, but also because he is an “internationally renowned Holocaust scholar.” Berk has authored three books on the Holocaust and is currently working on a fourth titled, “Our People Are Your People: American Jewry and the Struggle for Civil Rights 1954-1965. ”

In 1996, Berk was awarded the Holocaust Memorial Award from the Holocaust Survivors and Friends Education Center on the 50th anniversary of the Nuremberg trials.

The Union College history professor is known as one of the “most powerful lectures” in the nation, according to authors Lisa Birnbach and Edward Fiske. Berk’s course on the Holocaust is one of the most popular courses on the Union Campus.

Barba was honored as the foundation’s 2013 Community Laureate. In order to be awarded the Community Laureate Award, nominees must “have given considerable time and support to a variety of organization and/or major causes, and have made a significant impact on the quality of life” in the community. Barba is currently heading a project for the Albany Medical Center to expand the hospital with an eight-year $500 million project.

Barba has been noted for his contributions to the American Heart Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Association, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Aside from the medical field, Barba is an established member of the local community. Barba has been named “Executive of the Year” from the Business Review, the “Distinuished Citizen” award from the Twin Rivers Council Inc. of the Boy Scouts of America, and the “Career Achievement Award” from Siena College.

The Dinner and Awards Ceremony for the 2013 Citizen Laureate Awards will be help on Oct. 24.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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